YouTube Movie in the Works, And You Can Be a Part of It

Everyone wants to be in a movie. Now, thanks to YouTube you can! YouTube wants capture a day, as seen through the eyes of people around the globe. The popular online video hosting site owned by Google is asking folks from all walks of life to submit videos capturing both the mundane and the extraordinary.

Kevin Macdonald, the Oscar-winning director of The Last King of Scotland will cull the user submitted videos and create a feature documentary film, which will be produced by Ridley Scott, the director of Gladiator. The documentary will be called Life in a Day and will premier at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.


If you want to be a part of this unique global cinematic experiment, all you need to do is shoot a portion of your day on July 24 and upload it to the Life in a Day Youtube channel. Twenty selected contributors will get the opportunity to attend the film’s premiere.

Sara Pollack, entertainment marketing manager for YouTube, told The Globe and Mail that YouTube will be distributing hundreds of cameras in developing countries so that even people who don’t usually tape themselves can participate.

Participation instructions and guidelines are available at

(Hat tip: @labnol)

Judge Dismisses Viacom’s Lawsuit against YouTube

A U.S. district court has sided with Google in Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube. Judge Louis Stanton granted Google’s motion for summary judgment and hopefully set a precedent for other similar cases of copyright infringement.

Judge Stanton wrote, “If a service provider knows of specific instances of infringement, the provider must promptly remove the infringing material. If not, the burden is on the owner to identify the infringement. General knowledge that infringement is ‘ubiquitous’ does not impose a duty on the service provider to monitor or search its service for infringements”.

YouTubeGoogle hailed its victory as a victory for “the billions of people around the world who use the web to communicate and share experiences with each other”. Although, that might appear to be a hyperbole typical of a press release, in this case Google is not exaggerating.

Viacom had filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google in March 2007, seeking retribution for copyrighted material distributed for public consumption through YouTube. While Viacom believed that the sheer volume of infringing content on YouTube made Google culpable, Google maintained that it was protected under DMCA’s safe harbor provision, since it promptly removed any infringing content upon being notified.

Had the judgment gone the other way, it might have cast a cloud over the future of other similar user generated content (audio, video or otherwise) providers. However, this dispute is far from being settled. Viacom has indicated that it will soon appeal against the District Court’s decision. “We believe that this ruling by the lower court is fundamentally flawed and contrary to the language of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA),” Viacom said in a statement. “We intend to seek to have these issues before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible.”

200,000 Students a Month: Learning Science and Math on YouTube

salman-khan Sometime last month, Shankar posted a tweet about the Khan Academy. Have you ever heard of it? I followed the link and learned about Salman Khan, a man who gave up a successful career in Silicon Valley to teach people using Youtube videos. He’s posted over 1200 videos covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance.

Why does Khan do it? He’s not in it for the money. According to a recent interview, Khan said You know, I think I’ve always enjoyed teaching.

I believe him. His videos are not the dry lectures you’d expect from a geek. His enthusiasm shines through in the 10 to 20 minute videos. Here’s a video overview of the academy:

Link to this video at Youtube

When talking about his teaching style, he says:

I teach the way that I wish I was taught. The lectures are coming from me, an actual human being who is fascinated by the world around him. The concepts are conveyed as they are understood by me, not as they are written in a textbook developed by an educational bureaucracy. Viewers know that it is the labor of love of one somewhat quirky and determined man who has a passion for learning and teaching. I don’t think any corporate or governmental effort–regardless of how much money is thrown at the problem–can reproduce this.

Students all over the world are viewing Khan’s videos and are finding that they are learning previously difficult subjects much more easily now.

To find out more, visit the Khan Academy website.

YouTube Turns 5: Now Streaming 2 Billion Views Per Day


The website that spawned a million internet sensations and memes is celebrating its fifth birthday today. If this feels like déjà vu to you, then that’s because back in April, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the first video uploaded on YouTube.


There is no doubt that YouTube has come a long way in these five years. The pioneer of the online video revolution is now doing everything from live event coverage and movie premieres to movie rentals. Currently, YouTube serves more than 2 billion views everyday. This is nearly double the prime-time audience of the top three television networks in America combined. Here is a quick look at YouTube’s evolution.

YouTube Celebrates 5th Birthday

Early Days of YouTube

First Video Uploaded on YouTube

While the most popular video on YouTube is Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance (196 million views), the first video to reach 1 million views was a Ronaldinho video clip. Although YouTube’s top 5 videos list is dominated by commecial productions, the most popular channel on YouTube is nigahiga, which consists of ameteur videos posted by Ryan Higa. Check out this interactive timeline prepared by YouTube, which showcases some of the landmark and popular YouTube videos.

YouTube is sharing touching, funny and interesting stories of how it has affected the lives of people around the world. Head over to YouTube’s official birthday channel to share your story, see what other’s have shared or watch the favourite videos of celebrities like Conan O’Brien, Vint Cerf and Katie Couric.

inforgraphics via TechCrunch

New Privacy Option For YouTube Videos: Upload Videos as “Unlisted”

Later yesterday, YouTube announced a new privacy option for uploading videos – Unlisted videos. Now you can upload videos in your YouTube account and mark them as “Unlisted”.

The unlisted videos are sort of private videos, which will never appear in the video search result pages. Only those people can view and comment on your unlisted video who know the Video URL, rest of the world does not knows about it.

The “unlisted videos” are also hidden from your channel page, which means your subscribers will not get any update whenever you upload a new video and mark it as “unlisted”.

Earlier, YouTube allowed a similar privacy feature – share the video with a maximum of 25 YouTube users. That feature is kept intact but with Unlisted videos, there is no limit on the number of people who can view a video. Another feature worth mentioning – the viewers do not need a YouTube account to view the private video of yours.

This appears strange, if privacy is a concern and YouTube wants to add the ability to upload private videos, why not add a restriction on the number of viewers?

However, the “unlisted” sharing mode will be useful for many users. Consider a scenario: you have a small video clip of your wedding anniversary and want to share the video with a distant friend. Just upload the video in your YouTube account, mark it as “unlisted” and share the URL with your friend. Remember to tell your friend not to share the URL with anyone else.

Are you going to use the “unlisted” mode for YouTube videos? Share your ideas in the comments section.

The First Video Uploaded On YouTube Turns Five Today

Today YouTube is celebrating its fifth birthday. Exactly five years ago, a 19-second clip called Me at the Zoo’ was uploaded by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, after a visit to the San Diego Zoo. Back then, Mr. Karim was employed at PayPal. Here’s the historic video:

This video is also a throwback to YouTube’s humble beginnings. Although YouTube is now big enough to attract movie premiers and live events, for me the biggest draw of YouTube remains its odd amateur videos. It has spawned innumerable viral sensations including the JK wedding entrance dance, the Numa Numa kid, David after dentist and the keyboard cat. And, I am sure we will see more in the years to come. Happy Birthday YouTube!

Analyze Video Playback Problems with YouTube Speed Test

There may be reasons why you face frequent problems while trying to view YouTube videos on the web. Some of the very common problems are:

  • You are using a slow internet connection such as wireless router or a wi-fi network.
  • You have connectivity problems and the video ceases while buffering because of a lost network connection.

YouTube has rolled out a “Test video page” which can analyze connection and playback problems encountered while viewing YouTube videos. The “Test video” can be found here and it displays the video fps, dropped fps and the speed of the data stream in real time.


Some interesting stats are also shown on the same page which includes the speed of your ISP, the average speed of internet connection in your country and how it differes from the rest of the world. (also read: Tips to increase slow Dial up connection speed).

I live in Kolkata, India and use a Broadband connection. Here is the graph which I saw on the YouTube Test Video page:


As you can see, the ISP speed in my city is nearly the same as compared to other states in my country. However, the average Global ISP speed is much higher as compared to Indian states or cities.


Among the many factors which affect the video playback are ISP speed, the distance of your computer from Google Servers, your computer configuration, other devices in your network and Internet connected appliances. By enabling the video speed data, YouTube aims to inform the users about the reasons of speed issues and slow video playbacks. More information can be found on the video speed FAQ page.

YouTube Reveals Most Popular Videos of 2009: Susan Boyle Tops the Charts

Earlier today, YouTube published a list of most watched and most sought after videos of 2009. Susan Boyle’s inspiring rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent was the clear winner with more than 120 million views. This is hardly a surprise, since that video was instrumental in transforming Susan Boyle into an overnight celebrity. In fact Susan Boyle was also one of the top trending topics for 2009 on Twitter.

Susan Boyles - I Dreamed A Dream

“David After Dentist” and “JK Wedding Video” were two amateur videos which went viral this year. The later (JK Wedding Video) was obviously helped by the fact that, the US sitcom “The Office” used it as an inspiration for the wedding scene of two popular characters (in the episode Niagara).

Teen sensation Miley Cyrus ruled the roost when it came to music videos and was the only artist to appear twice in the most watched music videos list. However, Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me” managed to edge out Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” and became the most watched music video of the year.

YouTube also shared monthly stats on the fastest rising search terms. The shortlist is an effective indicator of the events that captured public imagination during this year. Michael Jackson’s death, Obama’s Inauguration, Tiger Woods’ infidelity, Susan Boyle’s sudden rise to fame and Kanye West’s inanity were some of the events which piqued people’s interest.

Most Watched YouTube videos:
1. Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent (120+ million views
2. David After Dentist (37+ million views)
3. JK Wedding Entrance Dance (33+ million views)
4. New Moon Movie Trailer (31+ million views)
5. Evian Roller Babies (27+ million views)

Most Watched music videos on YouTube:
1. Pitbull “I Know You Want Me” (82+ million views)
2. Miley Cyrus “The Climb” (64+ million views)
3. Miley Cyrus “Party in the U.S.A.” (54+ million views)
4. The Lonely Island “I’m On a Boat” (48+ million views)
5. Keri Hilson “Knock You Down” (35+ million views)

Fastest Rising YouTube Search Queries:
January: inauguration
February: christian bale
March: the climb
April: susan boyle
May: pacquiao vs hatton
June: michael jackson thriller
July: michael jackson
August: usain bolt
September: kanye west
October: paranormal activity
November: bad romance
December: tiger woods

The full list can be viewed at the official YouTube blog.

[via Mashable]

Compare YouTube Videos By Watching Them Side By Side

If you ever want to compare two YouTube videos the best is to watch them side by side. This is usually pretty difficult if you open the videos in two different tabs or different browsers. However, these is a web app that can make it easy for you.

YouTube Doubler allows you to watch two YouTube videos side by side in the same window. All you have to do is specify the URLs of both the YouTube videos and click “Double Up”. Both the videos will start playing side by side and will allow you to observe any differences.

You can also get an embed code to put both the videos side-by-side on your website or blog. YouTube doubler is a useful tool with a simple logic. They simple take the URL of the two videos you specify and embed them on the same page so you can view them simultaneously. It will also come very handy if you are running short and time and you would rather watch both the videos at the same time.

YouTube Allows Users To Turn Down The Lights

The best way to watch a video online is when you have no distractions around it, a popular video sharing network, has added a new light bulb feature, which will allow users to turn of the lights while watching a video.

YouTube Lights Down

While watching a YouTube video look for a light bulb in the top right hand side of the video, click on it and you will be able to view the video distraction free, without having to switch to full screen mode.

Turn Lights Down While Watching YouTube Videos

Though this feature may be a bit old, we just noticed it and saw it as a really good way to enjoy distraction free videos, have you been using this feature? What are your thoughts about this? Do let us know through your comments.